photo by r. yau
LAETITIA SONAMI was born in France and settled in the United States
in 1975 to pursue her interest in the emerging field of electronic
music. Her work combines text, music and "found sound"
from the world, in compositions which have been descibed as "performance
novels". She is creating and utilizing some of the most sophisticated
technologies in order to create an intimate, spontaneous art form
which transcends technology.
Since 1991 she has developed and adapted new gestural controllers
to musical performance and composed works with these materials.
Her unique instrument, the lady's glove , is made out of black lycra
and is embedded with sensors which track the slightest motion of
each finger, the hand and the arm. The performance thus becomes
a small dance where the movements shape the music. (Other instruments
which have been investigated are a "smart" old bellow,
and a disabled truck antenna...)
She is currently performing "The Appearance of Silence (the
invention of perspective)", a work-in-progress with live video
by Sue Costabile, "Why ___ dreams like a loose engine (autoportrait)"
, a farewell to the mechanical age in which the lady's glove controls
hobby motors, mechanisms, shadows and lights, with a text by Melody
Sumner Carnahan, "Conversation with a Light bulb" with
the lady's glove controlling sounds and pulsating light bulbs' filaments.
Her installations include sonic and kinetic elements which often
respond to the viewer's actions. BAGS, in collaboration with Nick
Bertoni, the Tinkers Workshop and East Bay Youth was presented in
the fall 2002. The installation consists of a variety of animated
kinetic bags which are activated by the public and control the soundscore.
Other installations include various animated ubiquitous objects
(rubber gloves and light bulbs for the most part...) while Wire
Rap II and Wire Rap III, installed this past year , show a clear
obsession with wires and walls.
She has been performing in numerous festivals across the United
States, Canada, Europe and Japan, among which the Ars Electronica
Festival in Linz, the Bourges Music Festival in France, the Sonambiente
Festival in Berlin, the Interlink festival in Japan, Bang-on-a Can,
The Kitchen and Other Minds, S.F.
Laetitia Sonami performed at the Ninth Annual Activating the Medium
festival in 2006.